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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

HC Rim Trail, AZ

19 4 0
Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Munds Park SW
3.8 of 5 by 5
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.05 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,250 feet
Elevation Gain 127 feet
Accumulated Gain 127 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.75 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.47
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
2  2017-05-10
Oak Creek quintet
17  2013-07-21
Harding Springs - Cookstove Loop
8  2009-03-21
Harding Springs Trail #51
9  2009-03-15 hippiepunkpirate
10  2001-03-24 joebartels
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,834
Trips 4,261 map ( 21,471 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Rim Stroll
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
This nameless trail gets plenty of use. The trail serves as a connector between the Harding & Cookstove trails on the rim. These two trails ascends the rim along 89A north of Sedona from popular campgrounds in Oak Creek Canyon. I decided to call this the HC Rim Trail. I prefer to go in just that direction, from Harding to Cookstove.

Back in the late 1800's and early 1900's settlers ventured down from Flagstaff. They'd make it to the rim on the east side of Oak Creek Canyon in several areas. Many of these settlers blazed trails down the steep slopes. Then they'd homestead in Oak Creek Canyon below. The settlers then used the trails to get back to Flagstaff for supplies in addition to selling their own goods. Today hikers and possibly hunters use the trails for recreation.

I traveled this trail in both directions and feel it's easier to follow north. It starts off on the Harding end near a signless post. The trail is barely noticeable in areas. Pay attention, look ahead and you'll be fine. This trail is the real payoff for hiking either Harding or Cookstove. It's very peaceful as there isn't highway noise to bother you. The views are classic. In areas the opposing rim is in view. One section of the trail gives you a great view straight down Oak Creek Canyon towards Sedona. With a third of the trail to go nearing Cookstove you cross a creek. It may or may not be running depending on recent rainfall. You've reached the Cookstove trail when you spot a large notched tree on the edge of the rim. The Cookstove trail goes straight down, it's almost a down climb right from the edge.

If you're on this trail it's likely you're doing a loop. I prefer the Harding to Cookstove direction. Going down the Cookstove seems more enjoyable then going up. To complete the loop you'll need to walk a mile alongside 89A. I prefer the south walk as there is more room on the west side of 89A. The total distance for this loop is about 3.8 miles and takes roughly two hours. An even better option in my opinion is to start at either end. Go up to the rim, over, down, then forget the highway and backtrack up the rim and down again. From either trailhead (Harding or Cookstove) this is about a 5.5 mile hike and takes around three hours to complete.

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2001-03-24 joebartels

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    HC Rim Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Oak Creek quintet
    Hiked the 5 road-to-rim trails on the east side of upper Oak Creek Canyon. Up and back down on Purtymun, Thomas Point and Telephone, then up Harding / north on the connector trail / down Cookstove. All are steep, well-constructed trails with scenery and big views. I expected more of a thrash on Purtymun but its in mostly good condition all the way to the rim, so it's clearly getting some use and unofficial maintenance.

    Hit Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock on the way out of town, fun slickrock.
    HC Rim Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Harding Springs - Cookstove Loop
    Teva Joe has written about this loop, a couple of people (including HPP) have traveled it, and I can't believe it doesn't have a lot more photos and triplogs. This is a beautiful loop hike in Oak Creek Canyon. I recommend going up the Harding Springs trail and DOWN the Cookstove trail. Cookstove is steep an sections, and you get to fill up your water at the spring at Pine Flats campground, yum (no filter needed)! If you start early enough, you can park on the east side of the road right next to the Harding Springs trailhead.

    We started at around 8:30 and the temps were perfect (a bit humid after the recent rains), and there's plenty of shade on the trail up. On the rim the temps are cooler, and the trail is a pleasant stroll. Don't miss the cairns marking the top of Cookstove (they're hard to miss), and head on down. Once you get to the road it's only about a mile back to the Cave Springs campground.
    HC Rim Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Went up Harding Springs this time and actually did the Harding/Rim/Cookstove loop. It turns out that when I tried this loop, I was at least a half mile from the top of Harding. Go I know. I actually lost the rim trail for a while and got to do some bushwhacking! Good stuff. I'm starting to get extremely excited about summertime...these Oak Creek rim climbs are sweet! (and I'll have the mountain at my disposal as well :) )
    HC Rim Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The original plan was up Cookstove, across HC Rim, down Harding Springs and back to the car along 89A. Up Cookstove and across HC Rim went well, but I couldn't find the jump off for Harding Springs for the life of me! I was even looking at a really good map. I guess all those geography classes aren't helping me much. Next time I'll go up Harding Springs...maybe it'll be easier that way. Despite my insufficient trail finding, I still had an enjoyable time. The views are sweet along the HC Rim Trail!

    Permit $$
    Red Rock Pass - may or may not be required. Go to Red Rock Pass then check "When is a Red Rock Pass Required?". If you have questions contact the Coconino forest service.

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    This trail is accessible from the end of the Harding Springs or the Cookstove trail.
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